8 ways to adapt your sales strategy and recover lost sales during the coronavirus crisis

As the coronavirus pandemic ripples throughout the world, the impacts are seen everywhere. From silent once-bustling cities to ransacked supermarkets, COVID-19 has changed society – and with that, the global economy has been rocked. Despite some of the obvious booming industries like supermarkets doing well, many businesses – both B2B and B2C – are struggling.

Starting with hesitation in the market a couple of weeks ago, many businesses have now faced a complete drop-off of sales, cancelled orders and requests to “put everything on hold”.

However, it’s not all doom and gloom. As the market slows down it’s important to remember things will pick up. And how you prepare for this resurgence in the market is vital. Now is the opportunity to future-proof your sales strategy – so when demand returns, you’ll recover from this crisis. And perhaps, emerge stronger.

In this blog, we will discuss 8 ways to recover sales caused by the coronavirus.

1.   Rethink your sales positioning

Whether you’re selling services to other businesses or products to the consumer, your customer has changed. Yes, your target audience may remain the same in terms of demographics (age, location, education etc.) but crucially their pain points will have changed.

If you think of your usual customer journey, they first notice your product or service because it simply helps them solve a problem. This “pain” is solved by your business. So let’s take the example of the “I’m wasting time doing this job myself” pain point. Traditionally, you solve this by showing how your service saves the customer time – and makes them work more efficiently. However, it’s unlikely to remain like this during the coronavirus crisis. In fact, the customer may now have time on their hands meaning they can be more wasteful – and therefore, feel they can “cut back” on these services to save money.

If your sales team understands how pain points are changing, they can adapt and reposition during the sales process. Instead of being positioned as an efficient investment to grow a business, is there something your services can do to specifically help a coronavirus-themed pain point for your customers – such as maintain business?

2.   Add value to your sales funnel

The market slows down and people don’t buy, correct? Not entirely. People in the B2C world and decision-makers in the B2B world are making purchases – yet with extreme caution. This means that before purchasing anything in this economic climate they take more consideration, research – and hesitation.

Now is the time to show you can do more. Essentially you cannot just sell what you’ve always sold. You will need to offer more. Because if the customer understands that you are the business that can give more value, you will win out over competitors.

Gathering your sales and marketing team, think tactically. What expertise and knowledge can you impart that will put you ahead? It may appear as a ‘cost’ to your business at first but will pay dividends when the market surges on the other side.

3.   Offer low-investment options

Another method is to ensure your sales team is focused on low-investment opportunities, rather than upselling pricier solutions during and in the aftermath of the coronavirus crisis.

Naturally, any good salesperson will want to upsell and increase revenue. However, in the current economic climate it’s likely to be inappropriate – and frankly, won’t work. Instead, your sales team needs to present a low-investment solution to any existing clients or prospects. Within the B2B world especially, retaining clients is vital in a global economic crisis – with the bigger picture being increased spending with you when the economy picks up.

4.   Adapt terms

Think about the new pain points of your clients. Most likely it will be cash flow. So, is there a way you can ease this?

Whether you’re a provider of business services or consumer services, flexibility with payment terms may ensure continued sales when the market or personal finances pick up again. If you take a rigid approach, your client relationship could suffer during this difficult time.

5.   Communicate clearly

Communication is key, especially in a crisis. As we become saturated with media and advice surrounding coronavirus, you need to make sure your overall business communications are crystal clear – as it will feed into your overall sales strategy.

As above, if you adapt terms or reposition your services make sure your sales team is well-versed to tell clients and prospects about this.

6.   Do your research now

If sales are slow – or non-existent – mobilise your sales team to do all the important jobs they don’t get as much time to do when it’s business as usual.

Anything from refining your database to researching new leads can pay off when the market resurges. Think of the crisis as an opportunity to take stock and prepare for ‘battle’ once the market revives. The more groundwork you do now, the more efficient and effective you can be at recovering your lost sales over the coronavirus period.

7.   Embrace new sales channels

Pre-coronavirus, were you reliant on face-to-face meetings? Getting your best salespeople in front of the right people is a tactic that many businesses rely on. However, as strict social distancing rules become the norm for many countries, these traditional sales-winning ways become redundant.

Instead, it’s time to take advantage of powerful sales channels you may have neglected before. Predominantly, this is digital and online. For instance, if your sales team were casual LinkedIn members before, now is the time to use it. Or if you’ve previously held conferences or events with sales being the ultimate goal, rethink how you can do this digitally.

8.   Think digital

Overall, your sales team needs to think of a digital world as the norm for the foreseeable future. The reality is that no one knows how long social distancing rules will apply.

Leverage technology that recreates physical meetings in your own home. From Zoom to Skype there are apps that your sales team can do to set up meetings without the need for geographical proximity.

Make your sales conversion stronger during and after the pandemic

After reading this blog, do you feel you could adapt your sales strategy to recover sales lost in the coronavirus crisis?

As this crisis rocks the global economy, your business needs to adapt along with your clients and customers’ changing business and personal needs. In doing so, you may not see profit during the crisis – but you’ll be equipped to recover losses better on the other side.

Sales consulting to improve sales after the coronavirus crisis

At Consulting45, we offer sales consulting to help you navigate the current coronavirus issues – virtually using video call technology. We believe this is the best way to equip your salesforce to overcome conversion challenges caused by the COVID-19 breakout.

If you’d like any further guidance on this topic – or would like to discuss in more detail how our sales consultancy services can add value to your business, get in touch with Consulting45 today.